Substrate and ferts

Vase

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I'm going to be using a 36x18x18 tank in my main tanks cabinet for my product water. Obviously this will only hold so much water. Two 'tankfuls' each week equates to about a 50% water change. Thats the main reason. The other is because Discus love water changes and I do need to maintain a certain level of hygiene for the fish without affecting the plants.

3X per week 2.5 teaspoons KNO3
3X per week 1/2 teaspoon KH2PO4
2X per week 1 teaspoon CSM+B or 50ml Tropica Plant Nutrition
1X per week 2-3 teaspoons MgSO4

Would it be best to dose the KNO3 and KH2PO4 on the same days. The CSM+B in between and then the MgSO4 on day six?
And sorry for this really stupid question but which are the macros?
 

ceg4048

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OK, got it. Yep, makes sense. That you understand plants love water changes as well was the gist of it. The macro nutrients NO3 and PO4 can be and should be dosed together. The MgSO4 can be done whenever you want, but if you are doing two water changes then why not just dose it at each water change or with the NO3 and PO4? Make it easy. If day 6 works for you then yeah, go for it.

The terms macro and micro nutrients derive from the concept of the relative amounts of the nutrients plants use. For example, Plants consume (and are constructed of) mostly Nitrogen, Potassium, Phosphorous and Carbon in massive quantities, perhaps in the same way we consume meat (protein) and potato (starch). These would then be the macro-nutrients (macro=large). By comparison, we consume relatively small quantities of say, zinc or vitamin B12. In the same way plants only consume very small quantities of Iron, Magnesium or Manganese. Therefore these elements are considered micro-nutrients or "Trace Elements" since they are small amounts (only a trace amount).

Hope this clarifies.

Cheers,
 

Vase

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So would this plan work?

Mon - CSM+B
Tues - NO3, PO4
Wed -
Thurs - NO3, PO4, 25% WC
Fri - CSM+B
Sat -
Sun - NO3, PO4, MgSO4, 25% WC

I'm not totally sure that I've got that right :?
 

TDI-line

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Vase said:
I'm going to be using a 36x18x18 tank in my main tanks cabinet for my product water. Obviously this will only hold so much water. Two 'tankfuls' each week equates to about a 50% water change. Thats the main reason. The other is because Discus love water changes and I do need to maintain a certain level of hygiene for the fish without affecting the plants.

Would you then have a pump to pump all the water in to the m,ain tank then.

You can see why i have a keen interest in this thread. ;)
 

ceg4048

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Vase said:
So would this plan work?

Mon - CSM+B
Tues - NO3, PO4
Wed -
Thurs - NO3, PO4, 25% WC
Fri - CSM+B
Sat -
Sun - NO3, PO4, MgSO4, 25% WC

I'm not totally sure that I've got that right :?

Yep, nothing wrong with that! :D

Cheers,
 

Vase

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Would you then have a pump to pump all the water in to the m,ain tank then.

Yeah. I have one of the Eheim hobby pumps that will do the job. I'll be using rigid piping if I can plum it in. Making sure that the pipe that hooks over the tank doesnt go into the water. Otherwise when you turn the pump off all the water siphons back. All you need to do is fill the prep tank with water from your main tank and mark a line where the water level is. On the main tank that is. That way you'll always remove the right amount of water and always have enough in the prep tank to fill it back up again. Did that make sense? :?

Cheers Ceg. Think I need to do some more reading though :rolleyes:
 

Vase

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Another question while I think about it :rolleyes:

Would I need to mix any of those ferts in a seperate solution? I thought about mixing some in a jug of tank water and then whacking it in but I dont want any of it to react or cancel the other one out etc. I know I've read that kind of thing somewhere but I'm probably way off.

;)
 

ceg4048

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Hi,
I find it easier to just add the powders directly to the tank as they dissolve easily (the MgSo4 less so). Some people mix the macros together and add about a months worth of powder to 1/2 liter of water. Then, in a separate container do the same with the micros. CSM+B does not go well with PO4 so they have to be kept apart, but everything else is fair game.

Here is a sample exercise:

If you are dosing the macros 3 times a week then that would be 12 doses in a month right?

12 doses of macro powder would be:
12 X 2.5 teaspoons KNO3 = > 30 teaspoons
12 X 1/2 teaspoons KH2PO4 => 6 teaspoons

So add these 36 teaspoons of powder to 500ml of water.

If there are 12 doses per month then each dose has to be 500ml/12 => 41 ml of solution per dose (more or less). You can play with the arithmetic to give you easy ml to dose with (41.67 is weird) so that if I wanted to dose an easy number like 50ml, well 50ml X 12 => 600ml so add your 36 teaspoons to 600ml of tap water. What happens if 36 teaspoons don't dissolve properly? No problems, add another 600ml of water and dose 100ml of the new mixture each time.

You can do the same traces with the traces (CSM+B and MgSO4) 6 teaspoons of CSM and say, 12 teaspoons of MgSO4 in 800ml of water so that each dose is 100ml.

Hope this makes sense.:wideyed:


Cheers,
 

Vase

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When they start breeding I'll keep you posted ;)

Is there a thread or some info anywhere that explains why we dose with MgSO4 for example? I'm pretty much up on the others but it wont hurt to recap. I cant remember MgSO4 being mentioned :?
 

Themuleous

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Isn't Mg added in areas of soft water? Plenty is normally supplied via water changes, but sometimes you need to add a bit more. I run my tank around 3/4GH and I've never needed to add extra Mg. Maybe thats what I'm doing wrong!! :lol:

Sam
 

Vase

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I'll be using mainly RO water and it also has a DI chamber fitted. My HMA will give some minerals etc but maybe not enough to save me from adding it. I dont know.

Cheers ;)
 

ceg4048

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Vase said:
When they start breeding I'll keep you posted ;)

Is there a thread or some info anywhere that explains why we dose with MgSO4 for example? I'm pretty much up on the others but it wont hurt to recap. I cant remember MgSO4 being mentioned :?

Hi,
Magnesium is used in plants to construct Chlorophyll. Chlorophyll itself is mostly Nitrogen (that explains why NO3 is a critical macro-nutrient) however it's fabrication requires the presence of Mg++. The highest concentration of Mg is found in new growth so that as the buds appear Mg facilitates the chlorophyll production that will be required as the leaf matures and initiates it's share of the photosynthesis load.

Magnesium is used to activate important enzymes in the plant. For example, one of the most important enzymes in the plant is called Rubisco. Rubisco is the enzyme that enables the plant to use and manipulate CO2 during photosynthesis.

Magnesium is an important component of the actual DNA and RNA molecules.

In addition, Magnesium acts as a catalyst in many oxidation-reduction reactions inside plant tissues. It also helps to strengthen cell walls and to increase the cell membrane permeability facilitating the movement and transport of other chemicals across the cell walls.

Cheers,
 

Vase

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I've just thought. (I know, I was shocked too!)

Should I mix MgS04 with something else or leave it on its own and have three fert solutions. I'm thinking if I was to mix it with one of the others I'd be dosing it three times a week :?

Macros 3x week, trace 3x week and MgS04 1x week?

*Bangs head on desk*
 

Ed Seeley

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Vase said:
I've just thought. (I know, I was shocked too!)

Should I mix MgS04 with something else or leave it on its own and have three fert solutions. I'm thinking if I was to mix it with one of the others I'd be dosing it three times a week :?

Macros 3x week, trace 3x week and MgS04 1x week?

*Bangs head on desk*

With my RO water I just reminerlaise the new water when doing water changes. The stuff I use to remineralise is either Seachem's Equilibrium or Kent's RO Right and they are my soruces of Mg, Ca and also add a load of Potassium too! I think you'd be fine simply dosing the Mg with your new RO water, but as you're using a HMA you may not need to as that doesn't remove minerals from the tap water.
 

ceg4048

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Dude, Relax, 8) Mg is easy. Really, you can mix the monthly Mg with anything, but just for convention, since it is a trace element, just mix it with the monthly CSM+B and call it good. In fact, depending on your tap, you may not need to add it at all. The problem is that the water reports almost never tell you about the Mg quantity of your water even though it's a component of your water's General Hardness (GH). They only ever report GH in terms of Calcium Carbonate so you would really have to test for it to confirm. I shun testing at every opportunity so I just add it and call it good. The worst crime you will be guilty of if you add more of some nutrient than necessary is that you are wasting money. On the other hand if you don't add it and you need it then you have growth and/or algae problems. I would only be cautious about adding Mg if I had an objective of keeping the tank GH very low for breeding purposes or something like that. Plants are made up of less than 1% Mg and many plants have an Mg content as low as 0.05% so a little goes a long way, too much is no big deal, but "zero" causes problems. :idea:

Add Mg in a way that's easiest for you. I always say that this is science, but it doesn't have to be rocket science. :D

Cheers,
 

Vase

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lol...I just want to get it right. I didnt want to add the wrong thing or too much of something. If the Gh gets too high with my product water I'll just reduce the amount I use, or the frequency that I dose it.
 

REDSTEVEO

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Hi Vase,

Just been browsing through this wonderful thread as you do 8) I notice that the last post was February. I am dying to know how your tank is getting on and more than anything whats going on with the discus? Any pictures? Any babies?

Cheers,

Steve (A big Discus fan!!!)
 

keymaker

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Re:

ceg4048 said:
You also need to have as many plants as possible in the tank from the start. (...) After a few months you can start to remove what you don't like and install those that you do like but the high biomass in the beginning will help to stabilize the tank.
I always wondered, why is that so? What kind of stabilizing is needed at the beginning? What needs to be stabilized?
Isn't the point to get enough nutrients for the plants one has, and ensure that the filter is matured, do regular water changes to reset EI dosage levels, period?

The second question is whether I should get a decent ADA substrate, or a 1cm thick Dennerle plant substrate with a regular 1-2mm grain-size gravel on top (4-10cm) would work just fine for growing plants like HC, HM, Glosso, Pogostemon, Eleocharis... Any thoughts on that?
 

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